Ballmer changes tune and dances around Apple's success

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who's watched his company's PC business come under immense pressure from Apple, used a forum this week to discount the Mac maker's potential for future share gains and designate its mobile phone business as a doomed initiative that will "lose out" in the long run.



Microsoft aims at Apple integration



In July, Ballmer issued a widely publicized email to employees acknowledging the looming threat presented by Apple, in which he outlined a cause of action that, among other things, suggested Microsoft follow the example set forth by its rival in providing the same "narrow but complete" experience to its customers going forward.



Among the changes he proposed were a shift in relations with Microsoft hardware vendors designed to mimic the experience offered by Apple's tightly-controlled Mac platform. Likewise, he called for a similar approach in the mobile phone arena, vouching to create "great end-to-end experiences" akin to that of Apple's closed ecosystem, where it maintains tight control of nearly every aspect of a product's design.



Ballmer's 180 on integration



Ballmer was quick to criticize those same strategies during a dinner at the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley this week. He said Nokia, Research in Motion and Apple will all lose out as the market expands over the next five years, because they control their own proprietary software, which is then tied too closely to their own hardware.



Today, Nokia leads the worldwide smartphone market with a 30 percent share. "If you want to reach more than that, you have to separate the hardware and software in the platform," he said, suggesting that the same strategy that helped Microsoft dominate the PC market will inevitably win out in the mobile space as well.



Of those mobile platforms left standing and battling for the biggest piece of the pie will be the open source Symbian OS, mobile versions of Linux, and his very own Windows Mobile, Ballmer claimed.



The market indicates otherwise



According to mobile market tracker Canalys however, it has been Microsoft's Windows Mobile share of the market that has slid precipitously, falling from 23% in the first quarter of 2004 to 18% the next year, and 12% in 2006, where it remained through 2007. In the fourth quarter of 2007, Apple grabbed 7% of the worldwide smartphone share, despite being limited to one model and primarily one provider in one country. It's expected that Apple will match or overshadow Windows Mobile sales worldwide this year, and the iPhone has already trounced Windows Mobile in the US and as a browsing platform.



Symbian's smartphone platform has similarly fallen from a commanding 72.8% lead share in late 2006 to today's 55% share under the assault of integrated phones including RIM's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone, and Motorola's closed Linux phones sold in Asia. Symbian partner Sony Ericsson is struggling with weak sales, and Symbian itself reported earlier this month that revenues had tumbled 14% as its software royalty payments per phone continued to fall. Nokia is buying out its Symbian partners to take the platform open source for the very reason that there is little business model left in selling the phone software.



Add in Google's free Android platform, and Microsoft is left as the last vendor trying to sell a commercial software platform for smartphones. This has led many observers to expect that Microsoft would attempt to release its own 'Zune phone' model, but the company has said no such product is the works, and instead has pointed to the release of Windows Mobile 7 late next year.



Ballmer dismisses the iPhone in 2007 while touting Windows Mobile



Microsoft expects Mac to do as poorly as iPhone



Ballmer similarly argued that Apple will fail to see further Mac share gains or make strides in the enterprise market because it won't license the Mac OS to third-party hardware vendors.



"Apple's a good company, I won't take anything away from them, but they have a certain kind of strategy," Ballmer said. "They believe in putting the hardware and software together, they don't believe in letting other people make it."



"I'm not saying there isn't a threat" he added. But if we "do our jobs right, there's really no reason Apple should get any footprint in the enterprise."



Just a month ago, Benjamin Gray of Forrester Research pointed out that the Mac had taken 4.5% of the enterprise market in June, despite Apple's apparent lack of any targeted efforts to push its systems. Microsoft's Windows Vista, a year and a half after launch, had still only reached 8.8% deployment in the enterprise. That was far short of Microsoft's original goal of 20% Vista adoption by the end of 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I'm not saying there isn't a threat" he added. But if we "do our jobs right, there's really no reason Apple should get any footprint in the enterprise."



    Hmmm, I think that should read "If we abuse our monopoly power right, there's really no reason Apple should get any footprint in the enterprise."
  • Reply 2 of 92
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member
    Ballmer's like a fish out of water. He looks and acts like a car salesman trying to run a large tech corporation.



    Quote:

    used a forum this week to discount the Mac maker's potential for future share gains and designate its mobile phone business as a doomed initiative that will "lose out" in the long run.



    Yeah, over 100,000,000 apps sold in 60 days and 20 Million phones sold by the end of this calendar year I can see where he'd get that opinion. I wouldn't like to see what he'd have said if they iPhone wasn't a runaway success. Also, what he fails to realize is the it's not just a phone, a mini computer, or a smartphone, but the groundwork for the markingting and technology that will help sell the world the Mac touch and its user interface when it makes a splash next year with Snow Leopard. Ballmer has no clue what's coming.



    Fat, Angry men don't influence me. Ballmer like Microsoft has become stale, predictable and boring.
  • Reply 3 of 92
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Among the changes [Ballmer] proposed were a shift in relations with Microsoft hardware vendors designed to mimic the experience offered by Apple's tightly-controlled Mac platform. Likewise, he called for a similar approach in the mobile phone arena, vouching to create "great end-to-end experiences" akin to that of Apple's closed ecosystem, where it maintains tight control of nearly every aspect of a product's design.





    Yup. The progression of reactionary companies to competition is always thus:



    Ignore.

    Ridicule.

    Attack.

    Copy.

    Steal.



    We are now at Copy. Here's your doggy treat, Ballsmer.



    ...
  • Reply 4 of 92
    Ballmer really shouldn't be spending his time worrying about Apple as more so Android, which is directly going after Microsoft's mobile platform. There's plenty of room out there but it's all at the expense of RIM and Microsoft.
  • Reply 5 of 92
    Why is he still the CEO of Microsoft? He doesn't know much about technology, the company's stock has dropped its value by 50% since he took over in January 2000, he's not even a good salesman (which is his only strength), and he's a raving lunatic.
  • Reply 6 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mutant View Post


    Ballmer really shouldn't be spending his time worrying about Apple as more so Android, which is directly going after Microsoft's mobile platform. There's plenty of room out there but it's all at the expense of RIM and Microsoft.



    Absolutely. Android could potentially be the death of microsoft as we know it. Actually not 'could', 'will' be the death of msft.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    I never liked Apple.



    Ever.



    I've used Windows since 3.1 and was blindly fanboyish towards them.



    But when I bought an iPhone and actually saw the quality and attention to detail that Apple puts into their products, it made me go out an buy a brand new MacBook Pro for school.



    It's been about 3 months now and since I have transferred any important files from my Windows PC, I no longer use it. In fact, I actually packed it up and stuck it out in the garage today.



    The point to this post is that he is claiming that Apple is going to eventually fail with the iPhone. But from my experience, the iPhone is what made me an avid Apple fan.



    I doubt that I'm the only one who has done this.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    He's right. In the long run. MS has a nice little system going for them with guaranteed profits every quarter. So why not. Keep producing crap till they catch up. What other company has a nice advantage like that?
  • Reply 9 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Hmmm, I think that should read "If we abuse our monopoly power right, there's really no reason Apple should get any footprint in the enterprise."



    Yeah, like, keep not fixing Mac Office, so it remains being even more useless than the current Windows version. E.g. Excel 2007 is already a dog with large files (I am talking moving an XY plot of >32000 rows x >6 columns here), compared to the previous versions, but Excel for Mac takes the cake in terms of slowness, even on a fast machine. Add in the lost macro support, close to no keyboard shortcuts (compared to Windoes), etc. - sure they won't gain marketshare in the enterprise, where almost everybody uses MS Office.



    You just gotta love Ballmer and his peons.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    I don't see why so many Windows lovers think having a device in which the hardware is designed by company A and the software designed by company F is a good thing.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BHoughton View Post


    The point to this post is that he is claiming that Apple is going to eventually fail with the iPhone. But from my experience, the iPhone is what made me an avid Apple fan.



    I doubt that I'm the only one who has done this.



    Indeed, you're certainly not the only one. As far as I can see, the "iPhone halo effect" has a much greater potential to get people to switch to Macs than the "iPod halo effect". This is a very exciting prospect. I only hope that Apple doesn't fuck it up by pissing off all the iPhone developers. The fact that the NDA prevents discussion about iPhone development really is ridiculous and I hope Apple sorts it out soon.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    Microsoft?s business model has always been to provide cheap software to companies who want to sell so-so hardware to businesses and people who prefer to buy the cheapest product on the shelf.



    This strategy has worked incredibly well for Microsoft. But the nature of this situation is such that there was never really any pressure on Microsoft to make software that worked particularly well, and that is why Microsoft never made any software that worked particularly well. Finally, after more than two decades of this pathetic situation, people are now starting to wise up and figure out that the money you save by buying Microsoft?s crappy software just doesn?t make up for all the perpetual hassle. People everywhere, after fighting constant battles with viruses, with software that is wrought with race conditions due to a lack of synchronization, and with perpetual upgrades to new versions that don?t ever fix what was really wrong with the previous version, have had enough. The wind is finally starting to blow in the other direction.



    The job that Apple has done with helping the public to come to this realization is exemplary and astonishing it itself. Less than a decade ago, hardly anyone, especially anyone on Wall Street, would have believed that Apple could possibly do what Apple has managed to do. It is an unprecedented phenomenon.



    There is no way that Apple will ever knock Microsoft off their pedestal. But I believe that the trend of the past several years will continue, and that Apple?s annual gain in gross revenue and net profit will continue steadily and indefinitely into the foreseeable future. It isn?t important whether Apple ever knocks Microsoft off that pedestal. What is important for me, not merely as a stock holder but also as someone who just is fed up with Microsoft and with Bill Gates and the whole pack of mediocre people and their crappy software, is that Apple continues to be a viable, successful alternative for people who want their computers and their gadgets to work the way that computers and gadgets ought to work.
  • Reply 13 of 92
    Quote:

    Ignore.

    Ridicule.

    Attack.

    Copy.

    Steal.



    I wonder what they going to do in Steal phrase? Buy Apple? Nooo, it will be a post-armageddon for Apple users.



    Now, to the main topic. And that's why we all "love" you Ballmer! Your complete Windows dominance in the whole world is now giving your company major headache, from Virus to hardware compatibility issues. Accept it, you like the tight-integration concept. Zune Phone? LOL, MS is backstabbing their partners. Zune does not cannibalize iPod sales, it cannibalize its own MS Mp3 partners market. . . . (but Apple need to do something about it though, before Zune become widely known as the iPod alternative)



    Quote:

    The job that Apple has done with helping the public to come to this realization is exemplary and astonishing it itself. Less than a decade ago, hardly anyone, especially anyone on Wall Street, would have believed that Apple could possibly do what Apple has managed to do. It is an unprecedented phenomenon.



    Yea, M.Dell, he sure understand fully what you said. Except he is no economist.



    Quote:

    There is no way that Apple will ever knock Microsoft off their pedestal. But I believe that the trend of the past several years will continue, and that Apple’s annual gain in gross revenue and net profit will continue steadily and indefinitely into the foreseeable future. It isn’t important whether Apple ever knocks Microsoft off that pedestal. What is important for me, not merely as a stock holder but also as someone who just is fed up with Microsoft and with Bill Gates and the whole pack of mediocre people and their crappy software, is that Apple continues to be a viable, successful alternative for people who want their computers and their gadgets to work the way that computers and gadgets ought to work.



    Yea, I dont want Apple to become bigger then Microsoft also cause by then Apple might end up becoming Microsoft No.2 I prefer Apple to stay small and not end up like Microsoft which is trying to put their hands on almost anything they can see. I say its good that Apple is expanding itself, but its also good that they remind themselves of what make they have royal followers.



    Do MS have loyal followers? Bring me any Windows lover and give him a Mac to test within a week, he will come back to you and ask "Where is the nearest Apple store?" .

    Well that is fiction but it did happen just not exactly like what I said, I have a friend, who bought a XPS and I got a MBP. He say he dont like Macs, but now after he seeing me using my mac and how long the battery life is compared to his Dell, my MBP and easily outlast XPS 13" battery, odd though considering its a 13 vs 15" screen. He start complimenting my Mac, so Im pretty sure in the future his next product will be a Mac.



    Now if we can only get engineering softwares (SolidWorks!) to be on the Mac.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    phizzphizz Posts: 142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Indeed, you're certainly not the only one. As far as I can see, the "iPhone halo effect" has a much greater potential to get people to switch to Macs than the "iPod halo effect". This is a very exciting prospect. I only hope that Apple doesn't fuck it up by pissing off all the iPhone developers. The fact that the NDA prevents discussion about iPhone development really is ridiculous and I hope Apple sorts it out soon.



    Mr H., I thought you were the Language Police.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phizz View Post


    Mr H., I thought you were the Language Police.



    I try to keep the profanity to a minimum, but I believe in this case it reflects the seriousness of the situation. Apple has such enormous potential in its hands with the iPhone and I do worry that its attitude towards the development community at the moment leaves a lot to be desired and could be its undoing Vs. Android et. al.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phizz View Post


    Mr H., I thought you were the Language Police.



    C'mon, now. Give Mr. H a break.



    After all, he did use "fuck" and "pissing" in a complete sentence.
  • Reply 17 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heinzel View Post


    Yeah, like, keep not fixing Mac Office, so it remains being even more useless than the current Windows version. E.g. Excel 2007 is already a dog with large files (I am talking moving an XY plot of >32000 rows x >6 columns here), compared to the previous versions, but Excel for Mac takes the cake in terms of slowness, even on a fast machine. Add in the lost macro support, close to no keyboard shortcuts (compared to Windoes), etc. - sure they won't gain marketshare in the enterprise, where almost everybody uses MS Office.



    You just gotta love Ballmer and his peons.



    Try OpenOffice...it's free and the new beta is written natively for the OS X

    http://download.openoffice.org/680/



    It reads/writes to the MS Suite.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    Ballmer has lost the plot. I think he lives in a different Universe to the rest of us.



    LISTEN TO THIS BALLMER JUST BECAUSE YOU KEEP SAYING THINGS DOESN'T MAKE THEM CORRECT.



    The world has caught on to the Microsoft swindle. It will take a long time but I really think Microsoft's days are numbered.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    phizzphizz Posts: 142member
    OS market share in August 2008 (source: http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8):



    Windows: 90.66%

    Mac + iPhone: 8.16%

    Linux: 0.93%

    Other: 0.25%



    My estimate for August 2018:



    Windows: 40%

    Google OS: 34%

    Mac + iPhone: 20%

    Linux: 5%

    Other: 1%



    Windows will mainly be a corporate thing, stuck with by companies who are currently already heavily invested in Windows, or chosen by home users who are resistant to change.



    Google OS will be hot off the heels of Android/Chrome, given away for free to manufacturers. It will be simple, easy and quick and very popular with home users, education and corporations looking for low cost computers (computers themselves may be heavily subsidised if Google AdWords are implemented into the OS - we're talking $99 laptops). It will be embraced by developing nations as the OS of choice.



    Mac will be the superior system, with its growth constrained only by the higher prices which makes them unattainable for many. That said, due to its profit margins, Apple will be the wealthiest company.



    Linux will be a solid open source community developed OS, but not widely embraced by general consumers.



    As many more devices become more like mini-computers, the 'Other' category will grow.



    And then 2028? Who knows...
  • Reply 20 of 92
    Ballmer: "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."



    You'd think this guy would have learned from this humiliating mistake.
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